They are yellowish-red solids, which behave as weak bases, their salts undergoing hydrolytic dissociation in aqueous solution.
Certain a-diketones condense to form benzenoid quinones, two molecules of the diketone taking part in the reaction; thus diacetyl, CH 3 CO CO CH 3, yields p-xyloquinone, C 6 H 2 (CH 3) 2 0 2 (Ber., 1888, 21, p. 1411), and acetylpropionyl, CH 3 CO CO C 2 H 5, yields duroquinone, or tetramethylquinone, C 6 (CH 3) 4 0 2, Oxymethylene compounds, characterized by the grouping > C:CH(OH), also give benzene derivatives by hydrolytic condensation between three molecules; thus oxymethylene acetone, or formyl acetone, CH 3 CO.
It appears to be synthesized in the plant tissues from carbon dioxide and water, formaldehyde being an intermediate product; or it may be a hydrolytic product of a glucoside or of a polysaccharose, such as cane sugar, starch, cellulose, &c. In the plant it is freely converted into more complex sugars, poly-saccharoses and also proteids.
Chem., 1892, 45, p. 604) observed acetic acid as a hydrolytic product.
On the other hand, they are much weaker bases than the aliphatic amines, their salts undergoing hydrolytic dissociation in aqueous solution.
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